Category Archives: Elementary Schools

Hilliard ES home at last after being displaced by Harvey

Hilliard Elementary School has officially moved back to their home campus this week, after being relocated last fall due to flood damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

The school — including all classrooms, the library, and the gym — has been completely restored, as have the campus grounds. Additionally, a new retention pond and extensive storm drainage system have been added to prevent future flooding.

Newly appointed Principal Erika Kimble said she is glad to be a part of Hilliard’s new beginning, and is looking forward to working in the renovated building.

“I’m excited about joining the Hilliard family,” Kimble said. “We’ll all get a fresh start together in this beautiful building. I can’t wait to welcome the students back in August.” Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves 2018-2019 budget

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year.

The budget includes $17 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs, and Achieve 180, the research-based program that will continue next school year to support underserved and underperforming schools. The budget also includes a performance review by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

The board also voted to reduce the proposed performance review allotment from $2.5 million to $1 million, with the difference of $1.5 million being transferred immediately to the general fund reserve for operations. The total cost of the performance review to be conducted by the LBB has not yet been determined.  The LBB is expected to begin working on the performance review in fall 2018 so that findings may be used by the board in the decision-making process during the next budget cycle.

As other large school districts in Texas, HISD continues to face looming budget shortfalls in the coming years due to inadequate state funding and increasing recapture payments. HISD has been designated by the state as a property-wealthy school district under the state’s school finance system, despite the fact that almost 80 percent of students are considered low-income.

Recapture requires districts that exceed a certain per-student property wealth level to send local tax dollars to the state. The 2018-19 budget has a $272.5 million recapture payment budgeted.

Building demolition underway at Braeburn ES

Demolition at Braeburn Elementary School is underway, with site work and paving soon to follow as crews begin the process of rebuilding the flood-ravaged campus.

“The community is excited to watch as demolition continues and progress on the new building begins,” Braeburn Principal Amanda Rodgers said.

The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained last year during Hurricane Harvey.

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Preliminary HISD STAAR scores show strong gains across multiple grades, subjects, and student groups

Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.

“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”

Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading

Two-day ‘Camp Lit’ event kicks off HISD summer school  

The Houston Independent School District welcomed thousands of students to summer school, themed “Camp Lit” for literacy, on Wednesday and Thursday at Delmar Fieldhouse with a series of pep rallies and tailgates.

The summer kickoff for elementary students was held on Wednesday, and middle school students celebrated on Thursday.

“This is the brainchild of our interim superintendent. The idea is to continue our focus on literacy but in a way that is exciting and engaging,” Officer for Special Populations Courtney Busby said. “We want our students to know that meeting their needs in the summer is critical for their overall success. What better way to do that than with a celebration where all kids will leave with books to add to their personal libraries.”  Continue reading

15 HISD schools ranked in the top 10 among Children at Risk’s annual top-performing schools

Number of schools given Gold Ribbon status nearly doubles to 21

Children at Risk announced its annual list of the top schools in the greater Houston area, and for the eighth consecutive year, HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions was listed as number one among high schools in the area and the state.

Five other HISD high schools were included in the top 10: Eastwood Academy (#2), Carnegie Vanguard High School (#3), East Early College High School (#6), Sharpstown International School (#8), and Challenge Early College High School (#10).

Five HISD middle schools also were recognized as top 10 performers: T.H. Rogers School (#1), Project Chrysalis Middle School (#4), Lanier Middle School (#6), Energized for STEM Academy Southwest MS (#6), Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (#9). On the elementary school list, four HISD schools were ranked in the top 10: T.H. Rogers School (#1), Horn Elementary School (#4), River Oaks Elementary School (#5), and West University Elementary School (#6). Continue reading

Summer reading program ‘block party’ encourages kids of all ages to read, earn prizes 

Summer is the perfect time for students to hone their reading skills, and thanks to a partnership with the Houston Public Library, they can have fun while doing just that.

HISD is encouraging students to join the Houston Public Library’s summer reading program for kids and teens called “Summer Block Party,” which kicks off June 1 and runs through Aug. 1.

Students can receive a free book and lanyard simply by registering. At each prize level, students earn another book and pins to decorate their lanyards and show off their success. They can earn pins by reaching their reading goals, attending library activities, and being an active member in their communities.  Continue reading

Five HISD elementary schools affected by Harvey get new gym equipment 

Thanks to Adopt-a-Gym, students at five HISD elementary schools have new soccer balls and helmets, hula hoops, and more new gym equipment. Founder Kevin McGrath was in Houston on Friday, May 18, presenting athletics supplies to five elementary schools: Hilliard, Pugh, MacGregor, Mitchell, and Anderson.

McGrath selected these five schools to receive a total of $15,000 worth of equipment because of all they lost during Hurricane Harvey. Adopt-a-Gym is a “by kids, for kids” fundraiser, where schools raise funds to purchase physical education equipment for other schools that are short on resources. Funds are raised through fitness events such as fun runs, dance-a-thons, and other active events.

The program is several years old and operates out of Charles Barrett Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., where McGrath teaches. To see other schools Adopt-a-Gym has donated to, visit their website here.

HISD parent in viral law school graduation photo to speak at inaugural Cornelius ES Career Day

Ieshia Champs, a single mother of five whose law school graduation picture went viral on social media, will be a featured speaker at Cornelius Elementary School’s inaugural Career Day.  Three of Champs’ children attend Cornelius Elementary.

The event will take place Friday, May 18, 2018 on the Cornelius campus (7475 Westover, Houston, 77087) from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

The recent Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law graduate gained notoriety after a photo of her dressed in her cap and gown surrounded by all five of her children was shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media.

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Worthing HS students lead Bastian ES scholars on School to College Pipeline

Students from both campuses participate in five college tours

College-bound students from Worthing High School are reaching back to the elementary students coming behind them to cultivate a college-bound culture throughout the entire Worthing feeder pattern.

“We want the older kids to mentor the young students so they understand credits, extracurriculars, volunteer work, and that you need to perform well on SATs,” said Worthing High School Principal Khalilah Campbell. “We also want our program to grow and for relationships to keep growing so students who will eventually attend Worthing will be focused on college before they even walk through our doors.” Continue reading